After much delay, the FDA has finally weighed in on the safety of bisphenol A, an estrogen-like compound found in many baby bottles and other plastics. The verdict? The agency has "some concern of health effects of BPA" and is "taking reasonable steps to help reduce human exposure" to the chemical. It's also encouraging parents of young children to avoid BPA. But it's not banning the chemical or declaring it unsafe.
The news, which is being widely reported on this afternoon, will likely anger a lot of people - including this parent. Numerous studies point to links between BPA and ill health effects, after all - and the chemical has already been banned from use in baby bottles in Canada. If the FDA thinks it's so important to keep infants, a group it calls a "potentially sensitive population," away from BPA, why not take a hard stance to ensure that happens?
The FDA said the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has earmarked $30 million for further studies on the safety of BPA, so we're likely to hear a lot more on this issue in the future. In the meantime, for more reading, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital pediatrician Alan Greene, MD, discusses BPA in this Q&A.